2018 is the year of the female traveller. 85% of solo travellers are women and many travel companies are noting that every year more and more female travellers are seeking to travel with them. Women are entering the travel marketplace in their masses, changing and diversifying what’s on offer! This has seen an increase in the popularity of women only group travel – with women looking to travel in an inclusive group of like-minded people. As travel becomes more accessible to everyone, across all demographics, women are feeling more empowered to travel and see the world.
What was once considered ‘daring’ is now becoming status quo as more women than ever are opting to travel solo. There are several factors that can be attributed to the influx in female travellers, including the accessibility of resources and tools to keep them safe, and a growing global community of those who have have gone before them.
Over the last few decades, women have certainly become more financially independent and much more autonomous, leaving them free and able to pursue an adventure and follow dreams without the need for support of friends and family.
What’s more, there are a multitude of women’s travel bloggers gaining traction on social media, reaching millions of like-minded women eager to take the plunge and see more of the world. These bloggers not only inspire and encourage women to travel, but they also act as extremely valuable resources, providing tips, sharing personal experiences and connections from their own travel experiences.
The days where women’s travel consisted of trips filled with art galleries and leisurely garden strolls are also becoming a thing of the past. Instead, the women’s adventure travel market is growing rapidly and gaining popularity. Many are finally realising that women can (and want to) do it tough and seek the adrenaline rush, just as much as men do. This type of travel gives an opportunity for women to push their limits and have an adventure, surrounded by a group of supportive like-minded women searching for the same thing. Of course, leisurely or luxury travel for women still exists and there is a market for it. The reality is: travel is an evolving industry that is catering to the wants and needs of more types of travellers than ever before.
When it comes to travel, women account for and influence 85% of all purchasing decisions. With Google Trends showing a 100% increase in searches for Women’s travel, it’s certainly an area of the market worth paying attention to. Think about ways that you could adapt your business offering to appeal to this growing market. Trends all show that women’s travel isn’t dropping in popularity anytime soon; accessibility and demand for women-only travel or women centered travel is only going to increase in the future.
So what does your tour operator business need to do to cater to the growing demand of solo female travellers? The beauty of it all is that you don’t really need to cater your business to women, you just need to make it clear that you cater for them. Sure, some women may want to go on what you might consider a stereotypical ‘women’s trip’. But there may be just as much interest in a women’s only bike tour or wilderness trek. Make it clear to your customers that you can cater for women only tours and that you’ve thought about the possible safety issues that might be top of mind when booking their holiday.
Often the main concern for women travelling alone is safety. While many women feel empowered and inspired to travel alone, it’s unlikely many women would feel at ease travelling alone without also considering their safety. Your tour operator business can meet these needs by creating safe and inclusive group tours; employing female guides, posting reviews from other women and providing safety information about the destination. It’s simple things like this that will help women feel safe travelling solo with your travel offering.
Lonely Planet found a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies in 2016, check out some of the work these companies are doing to get inspired!
Adventures in Good Company caters for women who are looking for a challenge, with a group of like-minded people.
Women Travelling Together has something for everyone, accommodating a range of tours for all ages and activity levels.
Wander Tours doesn’t exclusively specialise in women-only tours, but their customers have the option to choose. This company focusses their tours on cultural experiences and interaction with locals.
Smaller niche markets can also cater to women-only travel. Golf & Tours create unique tailor-made golf tours just for women.